Saturday, 19 March 2011

My First ODI Experience

Got up at 4am on the 27th March 1993, left home in Central Trinidad at 4:30am my destination was the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain. Those were the days of tickets being sold on the day, we reached the oval at 5:30am and joined the 'line', I use the word line loosely, since it was more like a triangle. 

The crowd outside was like nothing i have ever experienced before in my young life, everyone was full of excitement, there was constant 'picong' and not to mention the free flow of alcoholic beverages, and yes this was before the sun came up. It was a truly memorable experience, one that will never happen again since all tickets are pre sold weeks in advance.

The gates were opened at about 6am and somehow I was able to make it to the ticket counter and pay my $50.00TT fee and I was inside the oval for the very first time. I was surprised at the size of the ground and all the facilities that they had, stuff that a 14 year old from rural Trinidad never knew existed locally. For the $50.00 my 'seat' was any available spot on the concrete cycle track in front of the Carib stand.

The cycle track was fully packed by 7am and remember this game was not starting until 9:30am, the wait didn't seem so long as the people around you were so nice and friendly that the time flew. Complete strangers were offering me stuff to eat and stuff to drink, there we people reading, some listening to radio and others were catching up on some sleep. There were also quite a number of individuals who had their fair share of liquor and were passed out.

I was having so much fun that I didn't even realize that the game was about to start, I was so busy taking in the sights and sounds that I didn't even see the teams had made their way onto the field. Apparently West Indies won the toss and choose to bat. I clearly remember asking why is the Pakistani keeper standing so far back after the first ball i knew why. Wasim Akram delivered a ball that seemed to still be rising when Rashid Latiff collected, my thought were TV does not give you the real picture.

The game itself was exciting for a first timer, getting to see West Indies players like Haynes, Lara, Ambrose, Walsh, Bishop, Hooper, Richardson and Pakistan players like Akram, Younis, Inzamam, Rameez Raja was absolutely incredible. The noise when a boundary was struck or a wicket fell was phenomenal something I have never experienced before and something the has stayed with me all my life.

Unfortunately West Indies were not able to defend the 259 for 4 that they posted, Pakistan winning by 7 wickets. It was an absolutely enjoyable day one that I'm thankful that I saved the money to go on that day. I still go to the oval to look at International matches, but the atmosphere while still excellent may never reach that level. 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Groovy Soca Monarch Review

Another groovy soca monarch has come and gone and this time the winner is deserving of his title. KES delivered the performance of the night making up for the generally poor showing from the artists before him. His delivery was excellent both vocal and visual. The guest appearance of Lord Nelson was a fitting tribute to the original wotless man, the interaction with the crowd was also fantastic, in fact he was the only one to get close to the crowd and connect with the people. Well done man and we all look forward to the new album that you will be releasing after Carnival.

Benjai was deserving of second place, in fact he was in the lead up until KES performed. His downfall I believe was the band, their playing of the music for the song was not up to standard and his use of the national anthem in the beginning of his performance maybe against some laws of the land. I don't believe he should be charged he already has enough legal issues.

The people that should be charged are the judges for giving Destra third place for the half ah song she performed, even her back up dancers didn't even know she was finished. It was a poor performance from an artist that was expected to deliver a masterpiece. Allrounder deserved to be placed third, just for sheer entertainment it was interesting to say the least and who would ever forget the Gold Member outfit and the Mohawk wig

This brings me to the acts who took an unwanted page from the Soca Chutney book. Patch, Blaxx and others, start writing something that requires the use of some part of your brain and not this rum, rum and more rum shit, oh gosh man ease we up nah!!!!!!

The most disturbing aspect was the use of children in an environment where there is excessive alcohol consumption, and all the other activities. No child and I mean no child should be at the soca monarch finals after midnight, where are the parents or child services, UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!

In the power category it was close between Iwer and Machel, with Machel coming out on top I say congrats to him and this is one time the judges had a hard task. there will be the masses that will say it was fixed, I'm sure the same would have happened if Iwer had won. The best part for me was in the beginning when JW & Blaze finally admitted that they wished they had sung Palance this year!!!!!!

Congrats to all winners and here's to having a safe and enjoyable carnival 2011.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Cricket & Betting

The news today was that Marlon Samuels respectfully declined an invitation to join the West Indies teams at the World Cup saying that he is not ready to return to the international fold. The immediate question in my view is is this the only reason that he choose against going to India. I do not doubt for a minute that he is genuine in his view that he is not ready to return to the international fold, but i am wondering if the match fixing allegations had anything to do with it, similar to the South African players  who had refused to tour India until they get assurances that they wont be arrested.

This brings me to another point, why is betting still illegal in India, legalizing it might be the way to stop illegal bookmakers from trying to get their hands on the players . It could also be a good source of income for the BCCI or even used to help the many under privileged individuals and families in India. Then again the reason could be a moral one, I'm not here to judge just to share my view.

On to the world cup itself, the ICC (Idiots Controlling Cricket) has in there "wisdom" decided that from the next edition associate nations would not be allowed to participate. As a result, from the next edition I would like to suggest that the ICC change the name from the Cricket World Cup to the 10 nations cricket festival. I cannot see how it could be called a world cup with most of the world being excluded. As Graeme Swann said "how could you take the world out of the world cup".

This is the first world cup where the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) is being used and from the first day, it was introduced in the wrong manner. Players should not have the right to challenge the umpire's authority if that is the case then the umpire could sit in the shade and let hawk eye do all the work. Granted that mistakes are made with  or without the UDRS, (just ask India) a much better way to use technology is to allow the umpires only to seek help when they are unsure about a dismissal. This was tried with great success during the one and only Stanford Super Series by members of the elite panel. Its something to look into in the future.

Exciting cricket is expected at the world cup and also here in the Caribbean, with three rounds to go after a break this weekend the push for the semi finals will be tight. The top four teams have played the best cricket with CCC being the surprise and Jamaica seemingly having the right mix and have a player in the form of his life. T&T needs to work on their application while batting and the English Lions are quickly realizing that the teams in the Caribbean are not as weak as they are finding it difficult to force a victory after the first game.

Interesting times up ahead, will the West Indies make the quarter finals and who will take the regional crown. All shall be revealed in due course, till next time....CHEERS!!!!!!